Okay I totally understand how parents use this with their kids. When one child gets a toy over another child the other child will promptly yell "That's not fair!" And then the parent will promptly yell back "Life's not fair!" End of discussion. That's it.
This is a great parenting technique to get your child to learn about the ways of the world and also to quiet them down, but what happens if it used as an adult? On you?
In my senior evaluation from the department as a theatre major I had left a very blunt evaluation form for the department to read. As a senior I felt I had an obligation to give my true opinion and hold nothing back. In my review I was honest that I saw injustices in department concerning favoritism in casting. In the section of what can the department improve, I was very blunt and blatantly said "I personally feel the students who work the hardest are rarely given the chances they deserve. The people who are cast the most, often complain the most, they are the least gracious and rely predominantly on natural talent to get them by. In the real world talent only get's you so far. The people who have the best work ethic, work well with others and are the most gracious more times get ahead. Sometimes it doesn't matter how talented you are (especially starting from the bottom) you can't treat people like a diva. I feel it is time the department emulate the same standard." There was more that I was honest about including requesting more female heavy shows, and more opportunities for film classes but that summed up the individual grievances quite well.
My honesty was not very appreciated to say the least. Honesty rarely is. But I stood by my statement and was not backing down from that. In response, a dear professor of mine whom I am still close to said "You know you are a very fair person, but the world is not always going to be that way. You can't fix everything that is unfair." In a nice way, life isn't fair. They meant it in the best way, but it was a way to appease me nonetheless. They looked upset that I felt this way and tried to defend their side but it left me confused why I was supposed to be okay with what is clearly not right in a system?
But then I went to New York City. And my first week there the NYC Women's March Occurred. I marched that historic day and it changed my life forever.
It dawned on me that this was why I was not okay with life being unfair.
Look I get it life will absolutely be unfair. And if there is nothing I can do to change it in that moment then fine. No matter what I work hard and live life with positivity. But does this mean we should be silent about what is unfair? Should we not be honest and say what doesn't look right to our eye? Why is it a problem that I am telling you that this is unfair?
Well probably for the same reason the BLM movement, Women's movement, LBTQ movement and more have so much opposition. People don't like change. Especially when change includes admitting you are wrong.
So what has this meant for me?
Since that tiny grievance that just started at a tiny department evaluation, I have decided to speak up about things that matter to me.
1. How come there are never as many shows on Broadway about women compared to the shows about men?
2. How are women paid less than men on average for the same amount of work?
3. Why are my reproductive rights not nearly as protected as my gun rights?
4. Why is there hate toward minorities?
5. Why do white males dominate roles of power?
6. Why is one couple's love less than someone else's?
These are just a few things that I find unfair in the world.
Yeah the world is not going to be fair to me. But is the answer to these injustices, complacency? Silence? No. I believe that it is because of honesty, and loud nagging voices, that things change for the better. I believe that saying "Life is unfair." is best left said to the young.
So the next time someone complains or is honest with you about something being unfair, don't be that person and say "Get over it. Life's not fair." Instead listen. Hear them out.
The picture above was taken at the Women's MArch in New York 2017 by yours truly.